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Supercity IT cost blowout

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, March 2nd, 2016 - 69 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, national, supercity - Tags: , , , ,

Way back in 2009 I wrote about the costs of the Auckland “supercity” integration:

How much is that doggie in the window?

Here’s one significant cost that may well have been underestimated so far – the costs of integrating the disparate information systems of the current councils:

Merging council IT systems to create an Auckland “supercity” will cost the best part of $200 million and could take eight years to complete, according to consultancy firm Deloitte. …


Aucklanders will be paying for this for a long time before they see benefits, if any, and the government is at the very least negligent in being unable to say what the reorganisation is going to cost ratepayers.

By 2011 the cost estimates had more than doubled. I wrote:

Aucklanders to pay for Nats’ negligence

Auckland ratepayers are going to be stuck with a huge bill for the Nats’ failure to properly cost the Supercity merger process. Specifically in this case, the cost of merging the IT systems.

Well now the estimates are in. A unified Auckland IT infrastructure is going to cost more than half a billion dollars over eight years, and $300 million of this has not been budgeted for. Bernard Orsman sets out the facts in The Herald. But the usually moderate Russell Brown steps up and says what a lot of Aucklanders will be thinking:

Someone has to be accountable for this

It will cost the Auckland Council more than half a billion dollars over eight years to build new computer systems to conduct its business — and a staggering $300 million of that had not been budgeted.

Someone has to be accountable for this. And we, as ratepayers, also deserve to know what the authority, the minister, the Department of Internal Affairs, Cabinet and the Prime Minister knew about the real costs that were stacked up by an unelected body last year. And if it transpires that any or all of those parties knew that the costs would be far in excess of what we were told, then there is only one way of characterising what happened.

We were lied to.

National either failed to cost this properly, or hid the costs while trying to make the case for the “cost savings” of the supercity. And now in 2016 we get an update on the state of play from Bernard Orsman:

Council’s $1b in IT costs ‘wasted’

The Super City has spent $1.24 billion on IT since it was formed in 2010 – enough money to pay for the council’s half share of the $2.5 billion city rail link.

Among the benefits, Aucklanders can now register dogs online and access nearly 100,000 e-books, but most online experiences with council are still a grind.

Critics claim the decision by the Auckland Transition Agency to largely build a new system from scratch for Auckland Council was never properly evaluated.

Councillor Mike Lee said the $1.2 billion figure showed a bigger scandal than he had suspected. “There is so much good we could have done with that sort of money but most of it has been wasted.”

So from National’s initial $200 million estimate the actual costs are at least six times higher – and the job isn’t done yet. The real costs significantly alter the economic case that was made for the supercity merger. Was National’s estimate deliberately wrong, or was it just incompetent?

69 comments on “Supercity IT cost blowout”

  1. tc 1

    It was deliberately understated and ‘plausibly deniable’ that they were aware in true hollowmen fashion.

    The real integrators, the actual teams who do the work, we’re telling them from the get go what the actual cost would be. Ford, Hide, Fisher etc all buried this via plausible deniability.

    Mr Ford ranted and raged if he was bought any status report that wasn’t all green boxes so the minions learned early not to indulge in hard evidence of the impact of nacts woeful budgeting and timescales imposed.

    Contracts were ended when money ran out with tasks incomplete from as early as 2010.

    Chickens meet roost as years later the failure to complete those tasks hangs around ratepayers necks now in another typical NACT exercise in systems deployment.

    like their novopay shambles this one keeps rolling on.

  2. Incognito 2

    The iron law of megaprojects, is they are over budget, over time, over and over again.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Sheer incompetence, and what else could anyone ever realistically expect from Rodney Hide and the National Party?

    The things they pay lip service to (whilst keeping very quiet about the things they believe) have no basis in reality. This is the inevitable consequence. The only reason they got elected in the first place is electoral amnesia.

    • Macro 3.1

      ^This

    • International Rescue 3.2

      Or you could blame a left wing mayor who has been in charge for the past 5 years and on whose watch this massive stuff up occurred.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        Why are right wing commenters always so ignorant of the relationship between elected representatives and CCOs? Did you simply just not bother informing yourself before blathering?

        Who appointed the members of the Auckland Transition Agency, and are National’s gimps going to display a single scrap of personal responsibility? Fat chance.

        • International Rescue 3.2.1.1

          CCO’s are accountable to who? That’s right, the Council. Your left wing mayor has been out of his depth.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1.1

            Yes, a more competent mayor would have gone back in time to make sure the ATA got its sums right 🙄

            • saveNZ 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah right! When the councillors told Port’s of Auckland to stop work and give back the harbour – the Ports of Auckland told them ‘Stuff off’.

              Sound normal or more like Pycho right wing manic CEO’S in charge of our CCO’s. Not accountable to shareholders i.e. the ratepayers of Auckland. Ports of Auckland are a joke – from their concrete silos, to their employment records, to their F-Off attitude to anyone – they literally are showing us as the banana republic they hope us to be.

            • International Rescue 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Yes! Or not allowed the scope to include e-books.

              • Sacha

                e-books? You’re grasping at straws. Libraries IT was already integrated before the super-city amalgamation, and that part of their systems would not be expensive either. NewCore is the problem.

                • International Rescue

                  From the article:

                  “Among the benefits, Aucklanders can now register dogs online and access nearly 100,000 e-books, but most online experiences with council are still a grind.”

                  Can NOW…

                  • Sacha

                    It’s a tiny non-complex part of Council’s operations. Tiny.

                    There’s more than enough angles in this to hang justified outrage from, but that’s really not one of them.

      • Tc 3.2.2

        Yawn, is that the best you can do ?

        You need to go back to tr&@ll uni and redo the paper on ‘using selective facts to frame your meme’ go on its not that hard.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        No you couldn’t. It was this government that set up the super city and thus defined what was needed to be done.

        • International Rescue 3.2.3.1

          Do you have any evidence that it was ‘this Government’ that stipulated the need to access 100,000 e-books? For the record I’m in Auckland and the super-city is and always was a viable concept poorly implemented. Brown knows how to spend other peoples money. And not much else.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3.1.1

            Do you have any evidence that it was ‘this Government’ that stipulated the need to access 100,000 e-books?

            Ah, typical RWNJ – faced with reality they divert to an extreme.

            The National government defined the criteria of the entire city and thus defined what needed to be done as far as IT was concerned.

            For the record I’m in Auckland and the super-city is and always was a viable concept poorly implemented.

            And I’m in Auckland and always thought that it had some pros and cons and consider that closer working relations between the councils for most of it while taking the commonalities between them and putting them into single entities that the councils then controlled would have been a better idea.

            Brown knows how to spend other peoples money.

            That’s just it – it’s NATIONAL that has caused the cost blow out through their actions. Brown has been limited in what he can do by what NATIONAL did and that includes having to increase rates to cover for NATIONAL’s stupidity.

            • International Rescue 3.2.3.1.1.1

              “The National government defined the criteria of the entire city and thus defined what needed to be done as far as IT was concerned.”

              The devil is always in the detail. And the left love adding to the detail. Who asked for 100,000 e-books on line?

              “That’s just it – it’s NATIONAL that has caused the cost blow out through their actions. ”

              Well that’s you opinion. Not much in the way of evidence though.

              • Draco T Bastard

                All the evidence is there and shown in this thread.post – you’re ignoring it as RWNJs do when they have to defend their team leaders from their own actions/decisions.

                • International Rescue

                  The article consists of a quote from a previous blog. There is no ‘evidence’ of any culpability by anyone. Brown and the Auckland Council have been managing the city, not the Government (of either stripe!).

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.3.1.2

            spend other peoples money

            Polly wanna cracker?

            • International Rescue 3.2.3.1.2.1

              It is ‘other peoples money’. That’s the whole point of this discussion. We entrust our council and mayor to spend our rates wisely…they haven’t.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Keep telling yourself that. Anything than admit the possibility that it’s Rodney Hide and the National Party’s personal responsibility. Perhaps you voted for them, in which case you have to avoid your share, too.

                • International Rescue

                  Who runs the city? Who has run the city since the beginning of the life of the super-city? Not the Government.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Who has the time machine to fix the monumental incompetence (or, given the effect on the economic case, was it corruption?) of the National Party and Rortney the Trougher?

                    You can’t have a cost blow-out unless you’ve underestimated costs in the first place, but a factor of six! No wonder Labour always manages the economy better than this innumerate shower.

                    • International Rescue

                      You haven’t provided any evidence the cost was under-estimated. BTW you might want to look up the term ‘scope creep’. It makes your comment “You can’t have a cost blow-out unless you’ve underestimated costs in the first place” evidence you are just a dullard.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Keep telling yourself that dear.

    • Grindlebottom 3.3

      +1

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      I believe that the RWNJs engage in what I call’wanting’. They want the price to be low and so they believe that the price is low.

      They’re wrong as normal.

  4. Penny Bright 4

    Where were the internal and external audits?

    What was the role of the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) regarding the ‘third party’ auditing of the merging of the previous Councils’ IT systems?

    Time to ‘open the books’ and allow for far more public scrutiny of the spending of public monies by Auckland Council and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)?

    Time for the proper implementation and enforcement of the ‘Public Records Act 2005’?

    Time for an Independent Commission of Corruption in New Zealand?

    I think so.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Bob 4.1

      How are they going to pay for it all if Auckland citizens don’t pay their rates?
      Those bloody 1% that do anything to avoid paying their fair share to society…

      • Penny Bright 4.1.1

        I will pay rates when ‘the books’ are open, and I can see exactly where rates monies are being spent.

        When I’m elected Auckland Mayor – ‘the books’ WILL be open, and the Public Records Act 2005 WILL be properly implemented and enforced.

        How can you have transparency or accountability without proper written records. available for public scrutiny?

        Penny Bright
        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

        CITIZEN – not SHEEP or SLAVE!

    • Tc 4.2

      Auditors do as they are told, they are paid consultants who want return business. Its another comfy old boy network.

      Enron, worldcom, feltex, dick smith etc etc plenty of other examples about.

      Follow the money…..alot leads to deloittes.

  5. Nck 5

    Maybe the corporate IT co’s will sue the Auckland people because we can’t pay. TPPA right?

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    The true cost of major white elephant projects is always hidden or played down so that those who want them to go ahead get their way. This is especially the case where public money is spent. It’s easy to spend other people’s money for your own benefit for these types of people. The same thing is happening with some of the dam projects.

    • Tc 6.1

      Yup like the true cost of jk’s vanity flag distraction project would be well over 35m

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    I’m not at all surprised. When has the amalgamation of local councils (which has happened in the Auckland region at least three times since the 1970s) ever been an economic cost-saver ?
    There ARE advantages to local councils working closely together for the good of the whole region but this need not have encompassed total amalgamation into the one – which in Auckland’s case has become an almost-out-of-control monstrosity.

  8. John Shears 8

    Why are we surprised?
    After a carefully selected group of commissioners spent several years determining the most practical steps to take to create a single city from the previous independent local bodies and publishing a detailed report of their findings and the steps to be taken to achieve a satisfactory result. This after considerable public consultation.

    Sounds good? Well we will never know as their scheme was chucked in the rubbish bin ( hopefully recycled) and the National Government
    appointed Rodney Hide , the drinker of tea with the PM, and Act Party Leader to come up with an alternative plan which he did in about 6 months , go figure.!!!!!
    The overrun on IT costs is not the only problem, although is perhaps the most costly. My interest at the time was in relation to the supply and reticulation of Potable water , Sewerage and Sewage treatment and stormwater discharge having spent several years on citizens committees set up by North Shore City to update the Rosedale Treatment Operation , plan for the associated infrastructure upgrades required and do the same for stormwater to achieve the best result to ensure that the environment was protected as well as could be achieved.

    The Hide plan?? ignored the fact that all three waters need to be
    handled by a single agency and allowed Watercare to get rid of stormwater, this could be another cost in both dollars and damage to the environment, the old Auckland City has a long standing problem of damage from combined sewage/stormwater systems.

    • Sacha 8.1

      Hide fronted the government’s plan, but Nat Ministers like John Carter, Joyce and English were heavily involved in shaping it. Convenient to have someone else to pin it on in case it turned to custard – and a nice ego stroke for Rodders, to boot.

    • ropata 8.2

      Not only did NACT bully boy Hide throw the original plans in the rubbish, the NatCorp™ plan was rushed through at ridiculous speed with no thought for the fallout, and no doubt the IT back office was left to pick up the pieces.

      The old triangle “quality, speed, cost: pick 2” applies here with the speed factor completely untenable.

      Auckland councils have traditionally had serious culture problems and it looks like this whole super city experiment has done nothing to resolve the rorts and cronyism and internal politics. Cultural problems come from the top

  9. One Two 9

    Merging council IT systems to create an Auckland “supercity” will cost the best part of $200 million and could take eight years to complete, according to consultancy firm Deloitte. …

    Deloitte were lying about the cost, and they knew it

    The estimated timeline was somewhat more realistic, but the cost estimate of $200m was complete deception

    Auckland Council have also outsourced contracts for Data Center, infrastructure management as well as other IT service contracts

    To give a simple example: Building of a Virtual Server (base only) cost approximately $2k internally. Same server cost approximately $9k under the outsourced contract

    Senior Managers in the department had a major falling out with the Head of IT in 2013, a number of them resigned. The fall out was over the outsourcing of services with cost involved, which represented tens of millions worth in service and maintenance contracts, alone. The numbers emphatically supported keeping the services internal, yet the external contracts were signed

    The Head of IT, Mike Foley was walked out the door in November 2015

    • RedLogix 9.1

      The numbers emphatically supported keeping the services internal, yet the external contracts were signed

      Same experience here. Losing control of critical functions and associated costs is always a mistake. One that right wing managers seem keen to make over and over again. I presume it’s because being ethically corrupt shits they are usually getting some kind of kickback.

      Contractors have a valuable and useful place … but only when you have the internal resource to monitor and maintain control over their day to day work.

    • Sacha 9.2

      “Mike Foley was walked out the door in November 2015”

      That took far too long to happen.

      • Tc 9.2.1

        He held on as long as he could so the trail grows colder with every passing month as Ford and Hide arent around to help him anymore.

  10. saveNZ 10

    My view is the true right wing agenda of the supercity was to suppress democracy and sell off the assets to their cronies. It was to create a ‘business’ structure with CEO’s. CFO’s, CIO’s etc on high salaries, all pushing an agenda that is totally out of touch with what their ratepayers want and expect.

    Central control cripples large councils. Under Supercity council units have become powerful fiefdoms with zero accountability as the mayor and councillors and CEO’s etc are so far removed. Often these council fiefdom managers and underlings are incredibly stupid, Naive, drunk of power, unable to make sensible decisions or all of the above and control millions in their budget AND don’t worry about any overspend AND can wreck others lives because of it. Think Kaipara council and their white elephant ‘development driven’ wastewater system. People were forced out of their homes because of it.

    We also have the planning division of council out of control as well. They are so incompetent that their own submission was thrown out on the unitary plan. The tried to steal the harbour from Aucklanders, cut down ancient trees and forcing zoning changes on behalf of developers and the National government. They have not created adequate public transport along with central government and clogged up all of Auckland with roadworks for new roads creating further congestion. They want to create CBD in the suburbs for some personal unproven agenda that affects the lives of thousands of ratepayers, homeowners and renters who they publicly ridicule or use to drive their agenda through.

    The IT is just an example of how this costly mess of Supercity is panning out. The IT fiefdom division of the Auckland council have spent a billion. The CEO and so forth have approved it all. What the council IT decided does not work, even if they get it working it is a white elephant that will continue to drain money forever from ratepayers.

    Councils are not businesses. They are social entities and should be run like them. Rates are mandatory to be paid, that is not the same as a business which does not have mandatory payment. Therefore the councils should be 100% accountable to the people as they are forced to pay for them.

    • Penny Bright 10.1

      Looking forward to your vote Save NZ!

      😉

      Kind regards

      Penny Bright
      2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

      • saveNZ 10.1.1

        @Penny – I’m not endorsing you, (although on many issues you are on the right track). I’m an undecided voter.

  11. NZJester 11

    National has always claimed to be the party that knows best when it comes to controlling the New Zealand Treasury. But again and again they waist money on vanity projects and wasteful ideology driven changes.
    Labour governments have managed to always increase spending on essential services while paying down our international debts, Yet National governments are always borrowing while cutting the funding to essential services.
    Privatization it claims will save the NZ tax payer money, but when you look at the things that have been privatized they are costing us more while offering services sub standard to what they previously offered.

  12. Bob 12

    “Merging council IT systems to create an Auckland “supercity” will cost the best part of $200 million and could take eight years to complete, according to consultancy firm Deloitte. …”

    How do we know this isn’t accurate? Deloitte clearly studied the costs of merging the existing IT infrastructure, the issue lies here:

    “Critics claim the decision by the Auckland Transition Agency to largely build a new system from scratch for Auckland Council was never properly evaluated.”

    No shit Sherlock, you don’t get a quote to do renovations to your house then know the whole thing over, start from scratch and wonder why it has cost more!
    The ATA was created by Government, so who in Government is responsible for these muppets?

    • Penny Bright 12.1

      http://www.ata.govt.nz/web/cms_ata.nsf

      Auckland Transition Agency (ATA)

      LOTS of background info here …..

      Penny Bright
      2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

      • Bob 12.1.1

        Thanks Penny,

        So the ATA was setup, ignored the Deloitte recommendation to merge IT systems at a cost of $200M, decided to build a new platform for $500M that wasn’t budgeted for, they got disbanded in October 2010 after setting the wheels in motion for the new system, left it too…who knows to project manage, budget blows out to $1.2Bn and no-one is left to take responsibility for it?

        The ATA was appointed by the Government, the extra $300m should come out of the central Government budget straight away, then raise an inquiry into where the other $700m in cost blowouts has come from, if it was council incompetence council wears it, if it was ATA incompetence central Government wears it.
        It won’t be popular, but they need to suck it up and live with their appointments.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1

          I think that the extra billion should come out of National Party coffers. They’re the ones who are ultimately responsible.

          • Bob 12.1.1.1.1

            That’s a little drastic, they did put the ATA in place, but the ATA have been gone for more than 5 years, who has been project managing this blowout in the meantime?

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.1.1

              More National Party stooges by the look.

              • Bob

                So the ‘Decade of Deficits’ Labour left us in should be taken out of their own coffers even though they are no longer in charge?

                • Expat

                  Better check your history, or provide a link to prove your statement.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Projections aren’t reality.

                  On the other hand, National has had us in nearly a decade of deficits and there doesn’t seem to be any end of them in sight.

                  And the huge blow out on the IT in Auckland is directly attributable to National’s decisions to throw away a carefully considered plan to amalgamate Auckland and replace it with a half-arsed plan put together in 5 minutes by Rodney hide and then putting in a dictatorship that ran roughshod over carefully considered planning.

                  National just does things on the assumption that things will turn out right and then manages to avoid any sort of accountability.

  13. Hami Shearlie 13

    Why not put David Seymour on the hot seat over this (he’s now involved in a grubby little mess involving Landcorp)
    – he’s now the leader of Act and it was an Act MP, Rodney Hide who created this whole mess, he was given this job by guess who – Jonkey! They no doubt thought the Unitary Plan would be in place by now, and that the Councillors would be taking the flak – unfortunately the ratepayers have fought back and are up in arms – many many of them from the leafy suburbs who all vote National!

    All the assets of Auckland were to be sold to the rich mates of the Nats and Act parties by now – such a shame that the little people have fought back and have stalled all these secret plans! I wonder how many National and Act members were planning to buy shares in things like the Ports of Auckland etc?

    • saveNZ 13.1

      Like Dick Smith, it is the corporate raiders who would be getting rich off ex-council assets, stripping them, packaging them up for shares, making eye watering profits and then flogging them off, when surprisingly after their ‘business efforts’ it becomes bankrupt 1 year later, the ‘mums and dads’ share investors (joke), or more like pensions funds that bought them as well as the individual Nat n Act members lose their money, the employees lose their jobs and hey, that is Neoliberalism in action. It is not even helping the rich – it is for the mega rich 0.0001 it works for. People like John Key, share trader, known as the smiling assassin even before he became a politician!

  14. Sacha 14

    Does someone have a credible source (ie: not Orsman) for the IT spend, and the proportion of capital and operating costs within it?

    Any large information-centric organisation will spend a lot running IT systems on top of whatever they cost to put in place.

    • Tc 14.1

      Here lies another issue as:
      Theres money to be made still by many vested interests
      nz is a very small market with few large projects
      Nact are vengeful with long memories

      Finding someone willing to put the real numbers out there and risk being marked is a challenge.

  15. AB 15

    No surprises – when the efficiency and cost-saving benefits of a super-city were first pimped by people like HIde years ago, I just roared with laughter. I said at the time it would cost more, and IT companies would be in clover for years.

    Large IT projects are extremely hard to estimate up-front, especially where there is any significant amount of new software development or re-development. You always expect early estimates to be wrong – it’s merely a question of by how much. But what you should expect from competent professionals is that for any up-front estimate they get the order of magnitude about right. Then you can make a call on whether you want to walk away, or do more work to refine your goals and priorities.

    IT projects where a managerial class think there “must be” savings and efficiencies by standardising ‘similar’ operations that occur in multiple organisations onto a single software platform are extremely scary. Even more so if the multiple systems have been extant for a long time. Your managerial class have only the most superficial understanding of what these operations actually do. “How hard can it be”, they say, “to do xyz?”. But those disparate systems that have been around for years are all full of their own peculiar edge-cases and exceptions, and workarounds. And you have to port all that legacy data to the new system as well, and probably do immense clean-ups and transformations on it in order to port it.

    All this is so obvious that you would think that anyone with half a brain would approach a super-city amalgamation with extreme caution and doubt.
    But no, the illusory benefits were ludicrously over-hyped – and one can only conclude that what drove it was ideology, a desire to see greater Auckland brought under the control of the ‘right sort’ of people. And the ‘right sort’ of people means the Auckland business elite, not a small and messy democracy where little people turn up at the booth to vote for the Mount Albert Borough Council or some such.
    So we have both money wasted AND a democratic deficit – all sold on a pack of lies called “efficiency”.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      +1

    • RedLogix 15.2

      Or to put it another way:

      Why is it the case that in order to become a successful manager in the UK that one must embrace parochial miserableness, abject meanness and byzantine nastiness?

      More to the point, why has management in the UK become a politically barren, ethically bereft and dehumanising game of intense mediocrity?

      In recent interviews with managers, leaders and executives throughout the UK, I was informed on more than one occasion that the goal of most management – public or private sector – is the attainment of absolute mediocrity. Indeed, that the ideal natural-state of the business and its processes is one of permanent instability, stress and inefficiency. All of which is hidden underneath a barely discernible veneer of fake professionalism, dubious legality and prissy civility.

      One of the curious aspects of contemporary management life in the UK is that intense inefficiency, boloney-based disorganisation and paranoia-fuelled abuse is seen as an aspirational goal, and that highly-ineffective, naturally-erratic and constantly-engaged managers don’t have time to think, never mind have time to organise themselves in order to be truly productive in any rational sense.

      http://goodstrat.com/2016/03/02/lions-lead-by-donkeys-intense-mediocrity-in-uncool-britannia/

  16. adam 16

    This is how anti-democratic forces operate.

    Why is anyone surprised.

    The super city is all about destroying democracy!

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    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 day ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 day ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    2 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    2 weeks ago